April 3, 2021

Posted by orrinj at 7:52 PM


Derek Chauvin's Lawyer Said "Angry" Bystanders Were A Threat To Cops. Here's What The Videos Actually Show. (Tasneem Nashrulla & Clarissa-Jan Lim, 4/03/21, BuzzFeed News)

Some of the bystanders witnessing George Floyd dying with Derek Chavin's knee on his neck on May 25, 2020.

Four teenagers, a 9-year-old girl, a 61-year-old man, and an off-duty firefighter were among a group of bystanders who witnessed, with growing horror and distress, George Floyd take his last breaths under the weight of Derek Chauvin's knee on May 25, 2020.

They are also the people whom Chauvin's attorney, Eric Nelson, has repeatedly characterized as an "angry" crowd that became a growing "threat" to the four police officers, causing them "to divert their attention from the care" of Floyd. It's a central argument in the former Minneapolis cop's defense.

But hours of surveillance video, body camera footage, and cellphone recordings played in court during the first week of Chauvin's murder trial tell a different story: The crowd wasn't uncontrollable, but they were concerned that Chauvin was killing Floyd before their very eyes.

The witnesses testified this week that they complied with officers' demands while pleading with them to check Floyd's pulse. Many screamed at Chauvin to get off of Floyd. One witness who had a background in mixed martial arts told Chauvin he was cutting off Floyd's oxygen supply and called him "a bum." Another bystander, an off-duty firefighter, was so distressed with what she was seeing, she offered to take Floyd's pulse herself.

Prosecutors argued that none of the bystanders attacked, threatened, or physically engaged with the officers at any point. A senior Minneapolis police official testified that the onlookers were not a threat to the officers.

Posted by orrinj at 6:38 PM


How Trump Steered Supporters Into Unwitting Donations (Shane Goldmacher, April 3, 2021, NY Times)

Stacy Blatt was in hospice care last September listening to Rush Limbaugh's dire warnings about how badly Donald J. Trump's campaign needed money when he went online and chipped in everything he could: $500.

It was a big sum for a 63-year-old battling cancer and living in Kansas City on less than $1,000 per month. But that single contribution -- federal records show it was his first ever -- quickly multiplied. Another $500 was withdrawn the next day, then $500 the next week and every week through mid-October, without his knowledge -- until Mr. Blatt's bank account had been depleted and frozen. When his utility and rent payments bounced, he called his brother, Russell, for help.

What the Blatts soon discovered was $3,000 in withdrawals by the Trump campaign in less than 30 days. They called their bank and said they thought they were victims of fraud.

"It felt," Russell said, "like it was a scam."

But what the Blatts believed was duplicity was actually an intentional scheme to boost revenues by the Trump campaign and the for-profit company that processed its online donations, WinRed. Facing a cash crunch and getting badly outspent by the Democrats, the campaign had begun last September to set up recurring donations by default for online donors, for every week until the election.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


President Biden: 'Let us recommit ourselves to the lessons of Easter' (Joe Biden, 4/02/21, Religion News Service)

As Easter heralds the return of spring, we see signs of hope all around us. More than 100 million vaccine shots have been administered in fewer than 9 weeks, with more Americans joining the ranks of the vaccinated every day. Families are getting the financial relief they need to take a breath. Businesses are beginning to recover. And more and more of our children's schools are opening up safely once again.

The crisis is not over -- we cannot let our guard down, and we still have work to do -- but there is hope in the darkness.

For Christians, there is no greater symbol of hope and possibility than Easter -- and in this season, it is our responsibility to reflect the light we see by working to ensure a better year ahead. We have a duty to care for all those who are hurting: to provide food to the millions of Americans who are hungry; to keep a roof over the heads of families pushed to the brink; to treat those on the front lines of this crisis with dignity, and to deliver them greater relief and peace of mind.

And we each have a duty -- both spiritual and patriotic -- to get vaccinated when it is our turn, and to encourage our friends and loved ones to do the same so that we can beat this virus and hasten the day when we can celebrate holidays together once again.

As we commemorate this holiest of days, let us recommit ourselves to the lessons of Easter. Let us love and care for our neighbors -- as Jesus did, and as we've seen so many ordinary, extraordinary people do over the course of this difficult year. Let us all do our part to end this pandemic by wearing masks, maintaining a safe distance and getting vaccinated so that we can save countless lives and return fully to our communities, our congregations and the people we love. And let us continue to seek out the light around us and help it grow.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


New Report Depicts Trump Voters As 'Angry, Despondent, Powerless' (Alex Henderson, Apr. 3rd, 2021)

In a March 26 report, Democracy Corps explained, "We conducted focus groups in March with Trump loyalists in Georgia and Wisconsin and Trump-aligned, non-Trump conservatives and moderates in suburban and rural Georgia, Ohio and Wisconsin. It took a long time to recruit these groups because Trump voters seemed particularly distrustful of outsiders right now, wary of being victimized, and avoided revealing their true position until in a Zoom room with all Trump voters -- then, they let it all out."

Democracy Corps found that "the Trump loyalists and Trump-aligned were angry, but also, despondent, feeling powerless and uncertain they will become more involved in politics.... The Trump loyalists and the Trump-aligned are animated about government taking away their freedom and a cancel culture that leaves no place for White Americans and the fear they're losing 'their' country to non-Whites."

Democracy Corps also found that "Trump loyalists and the Trump- aligned" were "angered most of all by Black Lives Matter (BLM) and Antifa" and believe those movements "were responsible for a full year of violence in Democratic cities that put White people on the defensive -- and was ignored by the media."

Meanwhile, Democracy Corps found "the non-Trump conservatives and moderates bloc" to be "marginally smaller but vocal in opposition to Trump's direction and animated by his alienation of non-Republicans, the extremism, the 2nd Amendment and guns, and role of government and more."

They can't be Great Replaced fast enough. 

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


US reaches 100 million with vaccines as Europe faces fresh hurdles (SHAUN TANDON, 4/03/21, Times of Israel)

The United States reaped the fruits Friday of its vaccination campaign against COVID-19 as it became the first nation to reach 100 million inoculated people, but Europe's rollout faced fresh impediments and South America tightened restrictions in the face of Brazil's soaring infections.

The US reported surging job growth and loosened travel curbs as it neared reaching half of its adult population with at least one dose, with President Joe Biden vowing to cover the vast majority within weeks.

Led by a revival in the leisure and hospitality industries, the US economy created a mammoth 916,000 jobs in March, the Labor Department said.

Kamala is going to coast to re-election. 

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Suspect in US Capitol attack was follower of Farrakhan, raged against government (Times of Israel, 4/02/21)

The suspect in Friday's deadly ramming attack on the US Capitol was a follower of the Black nationalist Nation of Islam movement led by the anti-Semitic minister Louis Farrakhan, according to US media reports. [...]

The Nation of Islam posts discussed the decline of the US, including a Farrakhan speech Green shared on March 17 called "The Divine Destruction of America." On the same day, he posted a photo showing he had made a donation to a Virginia chapter of the Nation of Islam. Green also posted on social media about the "end times" and anti-Christ.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Tom Cotton calls out MLB for punishing Georgia over voting law while partnering with communist China (Andrew Mark Miller,  April 02, 2021, Washington Examiner)

"Hey @MLB, how many days of early voting are allowed in China?" the Arkansas Republican tweeted after MLB released a statement slamming the Georgia law and suggesting it would restrict voting access and that it didn't align with the "values" of the league.

Comparing the GOP to the PRC goes well with Donald's support for Uighur genocide and putting down Hon King "riots."

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Blinken seeks Israel's 'equal' treatment of Palestinians (Agence France-Presse, April 02, 2021)

In a telephone call with Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, Blinken "emphasized the administration's belief that Israelis and Palestinians should enjoy equal measures of freedom, security, prosperity and democracy," State Department spokesman Ned Price said.

He must mean a different Israel.